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How well must you be able to play to justify...


Smurfbird

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Since we're asking questions about how many and which ones...I thought I'd appeal to the playing end.

 

I always feel a little spoiled since I do NOT play well enough to justify owning such beautiful instruments. I can strum just fine and I can break the chords down with rudimentary fingerpicking, but any halfway decent player must roll their eyes when they see me wandering in with a Hummingbird...and now a few others (J-200, JB, AJ).

 

So, how well do you need to be able play to justify buying such expensive and high-end instruments?

 

(tongue partly in cheek...since even if it turns out I need lessons more than I thought, I'm not getting rid of these guitars.)

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Since we're asking questions about how many and which ones...I thought I'd appeal to the playing end.

 

I always feel a little spoiled since I do NOT play well enough to justify owning such beautiful instruments. I can strum just fine and I can break the chords down with rudimentary fingerpicking, but any halfway decent player must roll their eyes when they see me wandering in with a Hummingbird...and now a few others (J-200, JB, AJ).

 

So, how well do you need to be able play to justify buying such expensive and high-end instruments?

 

(tongue partly in cheek...since even if it turns out I need lessons more than I thought, I'm not getting rid of these guitars.)

 

Well' I'd certainly spoil myself if I could, and I'm just a wannabe.

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It's not how well you play now but how hard you try to get better. I practice every night for two hours, constantly maintaining my repertorie while learning new stuff. I think doing this is justification enough.

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So, how well do you need to be able play to justify buying such expensive and high-end instruments?

As I was giving what turned out to be my first really good guitar a try, I kept saying that I didn't play well enough to deserve it. My wife very helpfully pointed out that great players can sound great playing any old guitar, but a player like me needs all the help he can get.

 

-- Bob R

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Them's who can, play. Them's who...well, not-so-much... collect.

 

For a long time, I often thought that taking a guitar, and immersing oneself in learning a song, was one of

the more sincere forms of music appreciation. In the same way, I always thought dancers were just moving their

bodies rhythmically to the music, frustrated musicians, if you will; when making the music was more to the heart of the matter.

 

Being a "collector" is something I'm fiercely seeking to avoid (and fighting a losing battle there, I fear), but I can see where those taken to amassing obscene quanties of acoustic lumber are coming from. Perhaps to them, they too, are just trying to get into the music, and what better way to go about this, ostensibly, than to possess the physical objects which seem to be responsible for creating the music. We all know where the music is really coming from. You gotta do what you gotta do. Life is short.

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I'm never, ever, ever going to be a really good player, much less a great one. But there is much pleasure (and no shame) in owing a great instrument (or a few or a collection). So to fellow wanna bes, collect away!

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So, how well do you need to be able play to justify buying such expensive and high-end instruments?

 

This is not a valid question. Or maybe I should say, you are not asking the right question.

 

When I was starting out, I had these same thoughts. I thought I should be really good to justify buying a finely crafted, expensive guitar. I had my sights set high - I would become a great guitar player, then buy a great guitar. As time passed, I slowly (and sadly) realized I will never play on par with my guitar heroes. For a while, I felt bad about this, but then I realized something. Ya know, even if I am not a great guitar player, I still get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of this hobby. That is when I realized that the level of joy one gets out of playing guitar is not equal to the level of their technical ability. I started to focus more on how much fun I get out of it, rather than how technically proficient I was. This really freed up my mind. Now, I don't ask "Am I a good enough guitar player to justify buying this guitar?" Instead, I ask "Will I get enough joy out of this guitar to justify buying it." And let me tell you something, I get a lot of joy out of every guitar I own, so I believe each purchase (regardless of the price of the guitar) was justified!

 

So buy what makes you happy, play on, and by all means have fun!!!!

 

Oh, to further break the tie between technical proficiency and level of instrument, just realized that guitar stores do not put you through an audition to determine if you are worthy of a certain guitar! (They just swipe your credit card [tongue] )

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As I was giving what turned out to be my first really good guitar a try, I kept saying that I didn't play well enough to deserve it. My wife very helpfully pointed out that great players can sound great playing any old guitar, but a player like me needs all the help he can get.

 

-- Bob R

 

That is classic!!!! I am going to use this on my wife the next time I want to buy an expensive guitar! [lol] [lol] [lol]

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I've thought of this many times before. My quality guitars probably outreach my abilities by a long shot, but ability is not the only measure.....APPRECIATION is also measure......and even if I strum a single G chord.....my enjoyment of the sound of my guitars is worth it......also, I get to experience GRATITUDE, and I can share what music and talent I have with others. The original owner of my 1923 L-1 is LOOOOONG GONE NOW.....and I realize I am only the caretaker of these instruments for a short time.....I will take care of them, play them, enjoy them, and pass them on when it's my time. I remember watching Kris Kristopherson on Austin City Limits, PBS.....he is NOT a great guitarist....although he has a great guitar. He is not a great performer, although many many people love to watch him, but he is a GREAT songwriter!!!......He loves his guitar, and I love mine.....and the world goes round......

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Well, again, it is probably the wrong forum to ask such a question!

 

 

Get all the geetars you like - buy, buy, buy. Polish, polish, polish.....

 

I have seen some pretty feeble excuses for buying a guitar and I collect these excuses mentally these days so I am ready with a comeback when asked why....instead of the ooh, aahh well you know it looked nice etc.....

Now one of the best excuses I read was: "Well darling, I tried many lovely women before I found the wonderful girl I now love......"

 

So if you want to feel guilty about buying a nice guitar, consider the amounts required for customizing a car, keeping it going......or building your own boat! Or many, many cars, boats....

 

 

Except with a car, you don't feel guilty if you don't drive like Michael Schumaker or Bobby Rahal - you just get in it occasionally and plant it!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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You only need to be able to play well enough that a really good guitar brings you pleasure. I play for me, and no one else, and I enjoy the sound of a great guitar, even though I can't make great sounds with it. Even my feeble efforts sound better on a good guitar.

 

You should feel no guilt whatsoever at owning and playing a guitar that is "better" than your playing ability. Believe me, I'm the world expert in this particular category.

 

Besides, how you gonna get better without a good guitar? Generally speaking, good guitars are "better" not just because of the way they sound, but because of the way they play. A high-quality, properly set up guitar will make anybody a better player, if you're willing to put in the time and effort required.

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+1 nick. I buy nice guitars because I enjoy playing music and I could afford it. I could have worse addictions!

 

That's what I keep telling my wife: I could be hanging out in bars with strange women, instead of hanging out on guitar forums with equally strange men who share my peciliar interests.

 

The problem is that for the first time in my career, I can pretty much buy what I want, and I've been doing it. I do, however, keep a list of all my guitars and their values in a folder for my wife in case I drop dead on her. (I don't show her the numbers, but she knows where to look.) I don't want her selling them at a yard sale for $100.

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Play the best you can afford. There's no substitute for good tone and a good set-up. It doesnt need to be a name brand or matter where its made or look like anything special, it just needs to sound good and have a grip. Oh, and this from Br. David Bromberg "the first time you pick up a guitar with the serious intent of learning it, then you're a guitar player."

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Its just too fun ! Every guitar I have had and do have has brought me into a different style or two, and a handful of different songs. I've even had a couple that wrote songs. I'm a hack, but I love it. As habits go, I think its a fine one to have. My wife was encouraging me the other day to build a second story onto my guitar rack.

 

The other day I mentioned the guitar I am having made in the Gibson Custom Shop and she said "Huh?" [confused]

 

and I said, "We talked about this a few weeks ago"

 

She says "I thought you were just going to have your design inlaid on one of your other guitars."

 

Him: No, too expensive.

 

She: Is this the $6,000 one?

 

Him: (giggles) Um... no.

 

She: $10,000 !!!???

 

Him: Good lord no.

 

She: You are so passive - aggressive.

 

Him: We ought to do a duet together. :unsure:

 

She: I don't play well with others. [sneaky]

 

Him: That's why I'm getting another guitar, so I can leave you alone...

 

She: Deal.

[scared]

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Loving the responses! Yes, I've had part of my tongue in cheek here. I'm not giving the guitars back or anything.

 

Just curious as to how you all feel about playing and such.

 

I, too, have been a bit flush for the first time in a long time (selling old furniture, old records...) and I'm picking up pieces I've long wanted. The problem I see (and it's a common malady here) is knowing when I need to stop buying so many damn guitars and enjoy the ones I have. But everytime I see a decent deal on a model I don't have, I get all giddy and think "just one more." I have all these cannons sitting around the house that I really should have a B25 or an L-1 or...

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Loving the responses! Yes, I've had part of my tongue in cheek here. I'm not giving the guitars back or anything.

 

Just curious as to how you all feel about playing and such.

 

I, too, have been a bit flush for the first time in a long time (selling old furniture, old records...) and I'm picking up pieces I've long wanted. The problem I see (and it's a common malady here) is knowing when I need to stop buying so many damn guitars and enjoy the ones I have. But everytime I see a decent deal on a model I don't have, I get all giddy and think "just one more." I have all these cannons sitting around the house that I really should have a B25 or an L-1 or...

 

Nah....

 

If you can afford it, it makes you happy, and it won't make you end up in divorce court, go for it!

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If skill level were the criteria for owning these guitars I'd have a room full of Estebans.

 

I'd still be playing the $5 Mexican special I started out with in the early 60's.

 

My excuse for buying good guitars is:

"If you think I sound bad on a three thousand dollar guitar, just think how bad I would sound on a $300 guitar."

 

That shuts'em up.

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